Family & Parenting

Tips for a great party

Tips for a great party

By Lori Mork

• Pre-scoop ice cream and keep it in the freezer. If you’re looking for something more festive, soften ice cream and spread in a 9”x13” pan and refreeze. Use cookie cutters in shapes like hearts and flowers to cut it out. Store in the freezer until you need it and you won’t have to stand around dishing ice cream when it’s time to serve.

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

• Fill a plastic swimming pool with ice and place bowls of cold foods, such as salad and pasta, on top, keeping it cold for serving.

• Cook corn on the cob in a cooler to save stovetop space. Add shucked ears of corn to a clean cooler, then pour boiling water over the top – two quarts of boiling water per dozen ears of corn – then close the lid and let it set for 30 minutes. Drain the water out using the plug in the side and keep the lid closed. This will keep the corn warm for about two hours.

• Keep drinks cold with frozen water balloons. You can also use an old wagon as a beverage tub.

• Encourage guests to label and use the same glasses throughout the party.

• Set out sunscreen and bug spray.

• Tie a bottle opener to the handle of the drink tub or cooler.

• Make an ice block for punch instead of cubes. It melts slower than cubes and waters down the punch less. Or even better, make your ice block out of punch and there won’t be any dilution of your drink.

• Line pop-up laundry hampers or baskets with trash bags. Label them for trash and recycling and put them in various places.

• Help keep your home, as well as hands, clean by setting up a washing station. You can use a drink jug with a spout filled with water for washing, and supply a soap dispenser and paper towels for drying, along with a trash can for used toweling. You can also add a bucket below the water jug to catch the excess water.

• Purchase inexpensive cups with lids and fun straws to help keep children from spilling their drinks and attracting ants to the party.

• Pre-cut watermelon into small mini slices and insert a popsicle stick into the rind. It will make eating the fruit less messy for children and adults.

• Serve food “bar-style,” such as a taco bar or a baked potato bar, and let your guests make their own plates. All the prep work is done ahead and guests can select the foods that they like.

• You can use inexpensive strings of light to wrap around trees, deck railings or even hung from inexpensive poles in the yard, allowing your celebration to continue into the evening.

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